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National

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Topper in J&K judicial exam a former Pak-trained militant The Jammu and Kashmir Police have found the topper in current year’s Higher Judicial Service selection to be a former Pakistan-trained militant who served as “Deputy Chief of Al-Jehad,” lobbed grenades at the Army, sustained gunshot injuries in an encounter and remained in jail for 14 months under the Public Safety Act (PSA). He is among the 215 advocates, with an eligibility of seven years of practice, who appeared for the written examination. A two-member committee of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court (JKHC), comprising Justices Virender Singh and J.P. Singh, completed the selection process in July 2012. It subsequently recommended a list of nine candidates for appointment as district and sessions judges. Metro to honour top card users Delhi Metro will honour top 200 users of its Smart Card in the past one year as it celebrates 10 years of its operations. The DMRC has come out with a list of the top 200 Smart Cards numbers that have been used the maximum for the above period. Commuters can check their Smart Card number given on the top right hand side corner of the back of their Smart Cards and tally their number with the list of the 200 Top Smart Card Numbers. House panel raises concern on judges as CAT chairman The Parliamentary panel on Law and Justice has expressed reservation over a Supreme Court judge or Chief Justice of High Court becoming Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). Standing Committee Chairman Shantaram Naik said, “When a judgment of the Tribunal headed by Supreme Court judge or the Chief Justice of High Court goes to High Court, the matter may not get justice on account of the indirect pressure that may be on account of the fact that the judgment challenged before them is pronounced by the judge of a Supreme Court or the Chief Justice of a High Court.” At present, even a High Court judge could be made Central Administrative Tribunal Chairman. The Committee said that Section 6(1) of the Bill would lead to “dichotomy” where the decisions of the CAT or administrative tribunals at State or subordinate level come up for hearing in the High Court. RS clears money laundering Bill The Parliament has passed a Bill that seeks to enlarge the definition of money laundering offences to include activities like concealment, acquisition, possession and use of proceeds of crime as criminal activities so as to curb funding of terrorist operations. The Rajya Sabha approved the Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill by a voice vote after Finance Minister P Chidambaram assured the members that the Bill will help in checking money-laundering which is a global menace. ISRO to visit Leh to examine mysterious luminous objects A team of scientists from Indian space research organisation will soon arrive in Leh to further corroborate that the mysterious luminous objects seen on the horizon over a lake in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir are actually “Chinese lanterns”. The luminous objects flying over the horizon of Pangong lake, located 160km from Leh township, could be Chinese lanterns, the security agencies wanted an assessment of experts from another organisation for confirmation. Therefore, it was decided to request ISRO to send a team of scientists to examine the flying objects. Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) had written to the Government in October 2012 about sighting of some orange-yellow luminous flying objects on the horizon over the Pangong Lake. US-made Apache choppers will be for the IAF 22 Apache helicopters, which are in process of being acquired from the US, will be for the IAF, Air Force chief N A K Browne said. The Defence Ministry had recently allowed the Army to have combat choppers and said that all future acquisitions will be for it. He had also said that the IAF was procuring 22 AH-64D Block-III Apache helicopters from Boeing Company of USA. Apaches are not just for taking out enemy tanks or for airto-ground operations but they can be used for multiple tasks such as taking out enemy radar stations and for air-to-air missions.

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International:
Saudi prince buys ‘flying palace’ Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal will soon take delivery of the world’s first customised A380 superjumbo, dubbed ‘the flying palace’ for its luxury. He is said to have paid $485 million. Majority for LDP coalition Japan’s conservative opposition swept to victory in national polls, giving former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a second chance to push his hawkish security agenda and reflate the economy. Voters dumped Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda three years after his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) promised a change from more than half a century of almost unbroken rule by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The 58-year-old, whose first stint as premier in 2006-07 ended ignominiously, has vowed to rectify the listless economy after years of deflation, made worse by a soaring currency that has squeezed exporters. Christians most populous of world's religions Christians are the world's biggest religious group, numbering some 2.2 billion people, according to a study released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Pew assembled data on the size and geographic distribution of eight major religious groups, including non-believers. It found that Christians make up about 32% of the world's population, followed by Muslims, the second largest group, with 1.6 billion adherents. Hindus were the third largest group, numbering about one billion (15%), followed by Buddhists, at 500 million (seven percent) and Jews, who number 14 million (0.2%). The worldwide demographic study of more than 230 countries and territories found that more than eight people in 10 - about 5.8 billion people - identify with a religious group. Japanese man, 115, becomes world's oldest person At 115 years old, Jiroemon Kimura inherited the title from an American woman who died. Yasushi Nakayama, the mayor of Kyotango, near Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto, confirmed Kimura's status, calling him “the pride of our town.'' Kimura, born April 19, 1897, is 15 days younger than his predecessor, Dina Manfredini, who died in Iowa less than two weeks after inheriting the title as the world's oldest living person.

Technology:
NASA eyes mission to Jupiter moon Europa by 2021 NASA may have devoted many of its exploration resources to Mars recently, but the US space agency also has its eye on an icy moon of Jupiter that may be capable of supporting life. The agency is thinking about ways to investigate the possible habitability of Europa, Jupiter's fourth-largest moon. One concept that may be gaining traction is a so-called “clipper” probe that would make multiple flybys of the moon, studying its icy shell and suspected subsurface ocean as it zooms past. The $2 billion unmanned Europa Clipper, which could be ready to launch by 2021 or so, would also do vital reconnaissance work for a potential lander mission in the future. Astrobiologists regard Europa, which is about 3,100 kilometres wide, as one of the best bets in our solar system to host life beyond Earth.

Business & Economy:
India lost $123 billion in black money in a decade The Indian economy suffered $1.6 billion in illicit financial outflows in 2010, capping-off a decade in which it experienced black money losses of $123 billion. India is ranked as the decade's 8th largest victim of illicit capital flight behind China, Mexico, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the Philippines, and Nigeria, respectively in the report by Global Financial Integrity, a Washington-based research and advocacy organization. Titled "Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2001-2010," the report found that all developing and emerging economies suffered $858.8 billion in illicit outflows in 2010, just below the all-time high of $871.3 billion set in 2008-the year preceding the global financial crisis. Page 2 of 3 17th December 2012

Tata Steel makes new kind of anti-ballistic steel Tata Steel’s Port Talbot plant in the UK has developed a new kind of anti-ballistic steel which could transform safety of soldiers and security forces fighting terrorists and extremists. Super Bainite, the lightweight, superstrength anti-ballistic steel with a lattice form, could be used to armour-plate troop carriers and tanks. According to Tata, the operation has been the largest industrial construction project of 2012 in the UK. Apollo to invest Rs 400 cr on 10 cancer, heart hospitals Healthcare major Apollo Hospitals has said it will invest Rs 400 crore to set up 10 specialised hospitals in India by 2015 for treatment of heart diseases and cancer. At present the group is one of the largest healthcare chains in Asia with over 8,500 beds across 50 hospitals.

Sport:
Daniel Yegon takes honours Kenyan Daniel Yegon finished on top in the men’s full marathon category of the Bengaluru International Midnight Marathon, pushing fellow countryman Joseph Kenio to second place. Gladys Tarus won the women’s full marathon to clinch a double for Kenya in the full marathon. Priyanka Singh Patel, who represented India at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, triumphed in the Target 10k run for women. Humpy wins bronze medal World No. 2 Koneru Humpy settled for a bronze medal in the Sports Accord World mind-games in Beijing despite tying for the first place with three others – Lahano Kateryna of Ukraine, Hou Yifan of China and Anna Muzychuk of Slovania. The four players tied with five points each at the end of seven rounds. In the tiebreak, Lahano won the gold, Yifan silver and Humpy the bronze.

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